“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless
help us to be much more than what we are.” – Adelle Dais
You will feel better, have more energy, and be more likely to continue eating in a healthy way if you diet sensibly rather than suddenly changing your eating habits. Two weeks of all protein and grapefruits is not going to be a successful long term plan!
But eating healthy is more than just planning meals or making good food choices. Eating is tied to our emotions in complex ways. Some of us eat when we’re angry, some when we’re depressed, some when we’re upset or anxious. That’s normal. But if you think your eating patterns are nearly always determined by how you’re feeling, then reach out for help. Chances are, you need to talk to someone about what’s causing those feelings in the first place. When food becomes an obsession (bingeing or starving yourself), it’s a serious medical condition that requires professional care.
How do I know if what I’m eating is healthy? Evaluate your own personal food pyramid at www.intelihealth.com* *(disclaimer below)
Be R.E.A.L. Diet
If you are looking for a guaranteed way to lose weight, you’ve come to the right place!
The only weight that will really stay off is weight that comes off slowly as part of a healthy eating and exercise plan that you can use for the rest of your life. Fad diets and pills don’t work in the long run, and can cause serious damage.
Educate yourself about the many other health benefits of good nutrition. You ARE worth taking good care of!
Develop a positive Attitude:
Don’t say “diet”! Rather than thinking about restricting what you eat, or depriving yourself, think in terms of giving your body what it needs to be healthy.
Link up with a medical professional:
Weight is part of your body–so let’s face it, you wouldn’t think of not going to a doctor for other concerns you have about your body. Yet when it comes to weight, many people think they can go to just any “expert” who’s out there trying to make a buck. If you truly need to lose weight, you must see your doctor to ensure that you are doing it safely. Set up an appointment with your physician and/or a nutritionist.
All foods fall into one of the three basic food groups. Your body needs all three to function effectively and maintain its health. Vitamins and minerals are also essential for good health, but they do not provide energy; instead they act as catalysts for many processes in the body. Below is a brief description of the three main food groups and what they do.
Carbohydrates: the body’s primary source of energy; also a source of fiber which aids in digestion. Should be 50-60% of your total diet. Includes: whole grains, cereals and breads, such as wheat, rice, rye, etc., as well as vegetables and fruits, and beans and legumes.
Proteins: provide basic building blocks for body tissue (muscles, skin, hair, teeth, etc.), as well as hormones, antibodies, and enzymes. Should be 15-20% of your diet. Includes: animal sources such as dairy (milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese) and meats (beef, chicken, fish). Also includes vegetable sources such as beans (chickpeas, lentils, kidney), soy products (tofu, tempeh) and certain vegetable combinations.
Fats: a concentrated source of energy, but they also function to carry fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, provide insulation and protection for major organs. Should be 15-30% of your diet. Includes animal fats (meats, butter, milk, cheese) as well as vegetable fats (olive oil, sunflower oil, nuts).
Why Suddenly Restricting Calories Will NOT help you Lose Weight
We often think that loosing weight means that we have to drastically reduce how much we eat. While it is true that in order to lose weight you have to expend more energy than you take in in calories, a drastic reduction in caloric intake will often have the opposite effect. You need to understand how metabolism works.
When your body uses energy, it is a complex process. The liver converts carbohydrates and amino acids from proteins into glucose to send to your muscles. But in order for the glucose to be used, it must be synthesized into glycogen, and this too requires energy. This is where your muscles “burn” or metabolize fatty acids in fat cells to get the energy required to synthesize glucose into glycogen. The more you use your muscles (or exercise), the more energy is required and the more fatty acids are used. In other words, exercise increases your metabolism and therefore your body’s ability to burn fat.
By restricting calories, you are restricting the energy available, and thus you send the message to your body that it should conserve energy or slow down the metabolic process. If you slow down your metabolism, you decrease the amount of fat being burned. So the best way to lose weight is to combine healthy eating habits with exercise.
The Best Way To Lose Weight Is To Cut Out All Fats.
Wrong! What happens if you don’t get enough fat in your diet?
First, your body cannot absorb fat-soluble vitamins (that is, vitamins A, D, and E which need to be “carried” in fatty substances), and therefore you will be missing the essential functions they perform, such as preventing infection, aiding in healthy skin, teeth, bones, and mucous membranes. Second, you will be hungry and therefore more likely to binge.
Fat is not a bad word! In fact, your body cannot function properly without fats. But not all fats are equally good for you. Saturated fats (found in animal fats such as meat and dairy products) contribute to heart disease by clogging the arteries. Mono- and unsaturated fats (found in vegetable sources such as nuts, grains, and vegetable oils) can actually help lower your cholesterol level and serve as an important energy source.
Do High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diets Really Work?
Ordinarily the body’s fuel comes from glucose (a sugar), which is most easily obtained from carbohydrates and less easily from protein. When the body lacks carbohydrates, protein and fats then become the main suppliers for energy. It can be dangerous when the body is forced to take protein from lean body mass muscles and major organs such as the liver, heart and kidneys.
The other option is to convert fat into energy, and often these diets tell you that you can eat all the fat you want. What happens is that the body starts to break down fatty acids for energy, but in the process, ketones are formed from this breakdown process. These ketones then accumulate (called ketosis). The only way the body has to get rid of these ketones is in the urine, so the body then starts to excrete more water. The weight loss is sudden and dramatic, but can result in dehydration, and the weight quickly comes back on once normal eating is resumed.
What About All The Hype Over Low Fat Diets?
The body needs fat to perform essential functions. In fact, one of the dangers of a very low fat diet is a reduced resistance to infection and poor wound healing. Fats are also necessary for the absorption of certain vitamins.
But not all fats are equally beneficial. Try to avoid high amounts of saturated fats (those found in meats and dairy products), and increase the amounts of unsaturated fats (those found in vegetable sources, such as olive oils and nuts). Saturated fats contain higher levels of cholesterol and can lead to clogged arteries, while unsaturated or “good” fats can actually help reduce cholesterol levels. Cholesterol itself is not “bad”; in fact it is necessary for building cell walls and producing hormones. But, as with fats, there are different kinds of cholesterol. One type (low density lipoprotein, or LDL) clogs the arteries with plaque. The other kind (high density lipoprotein, or HDL) actually helps remove plaque in blood vessels. You can increase your level of HDL by eating more unsaturated fats and also by vigorous exercise.
You Can’t Get Enough Iron In Your Diet If You Cut Out Red Meat
Not true!!! However, it is true that iron in its most absorbable form comes from meats, chicken and seafood. If you are a vegetarian or are trying to cut back on red meat, you can still get the iron you need by eating green leafy vegetables and whole grains, and you can boost your body’s ability absorb the iron from these foods if you combine them with foods rich in vitamin C (for example, citrus fruits or tomatoes). You may be inhibiting iron absorption if you always drink coffee or tea with meals. The tannins in these caffeinated drinks block absorption. Also, don’t take your calcium supplement when you are eating iron rich foods, as calcium also blocks absorption.
Never Eat Proteins And Carbs Together
The enzymes that allow the body to digest proteins and carbohydrates cannot work together. Therefore, never eat proteins and carbs together in the same meal.
Some diets are based on this faulty information and therefore tell you not to eat proteins and carbs together. This is not only unnecessary, but may also lead to your not getting enough of either food category throughout the day. In addition, vegetarians need to combine complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains) with beans to get all essential fatty acids.
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